Weddings are exhausting. Everyone you love will be at your wedding, along with a few people you don’t even like that much. By the time the last glass of champagne has been drained, you and your bride will be ready for some serious alone time. You’ll probably feel as if you’d love to just sail away.
So why don’t you? Literally sail away, just the two of you. Chartering your own private yacht is ideal, but hardly a budget option, so save that for your second honeymoon, when you have a much bigger bank account. This time around, consider buying tickets for a cruise.
Before we go any further, lose your preconceived notions. Cruises are no longer dull, cheesy affairs fit only for geriatric couples and families with kids. We’ve had a look around, and a cruise might just be the smartest game in town. Here’s why:
- Even if your cruise ship has wifi and is bigger than your apartment building, something about being in the middle of the sea feels like you’ve escaped the everyday.
- It’s relatively easy to plan—once you pick your ship and your dates, you’re basically done.
- The sea and stars. Honeymoons are supposed to be romantic, and a limitless vista of the sparkling sea and every star in the night sky are nature’s aphrodisiacs. Who needs candlelight and D’Angelo?
There’s a lot of ocean on this planet, and almost as many cruise lines from which to choose. We found prices ranging from under $2,000 to over $9,000 per person, so be sure to determine your budget before you start looking.
Know Thy Spouse
Choose a cruise that makes sense for you and your fiancée.
- If you both get bored and restless lazing on a beach, maybe a rainforest cruise is more your speed.
- Are you foodies? Some of these boats have cooking classes— and all of them feature top shelf cuisine.
- If you’re madly in love, but define ‘relaxation’ very differently, go for a bigger cruise ship where you can play racquetball while she sunbathes by the pool (or vice versa).
You’re Not the Boss of She
“Don’t make any executive decisions,” counsels Maggie Malloy, a travel consultant with KK Travels Worldwide, a high-end firm that designs bespoke excursions for their clientele. “Get her opinion on your selections.” In her day to day work, Malloy usually deals with the groom, because the bride is too busy planning the wedding. But she always reminds them that their fiancée will want to be involved in the final decision.
Small Surprises, Big Payoff
That said, a little surprise while you’re on the honeymoon? That’s something different. “Girls will always love a nice surprise within the honeymoon. It’s really sweet and shows that you’re thoughtful,” said Malloy. So if the ship has an on-board spa, book some treatments for two; or reserve a romantic date at a great restaurant in a port of call.
Go Full Castaway
If your honeymoon fantasy is to go far far away, try the South Pacific. Just like their artist namesake, Paul Gauguin Cruises will take you to Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji and the South Pacific. Their smaller ships are able to visit unique little spots as interesting ports of call.
The South Pacific is perfect for lying in the sun, sipping drinks from coconuts, and rubbing suntan lotion all over each other’s nearly naked bodies. If this sounds like a recipe for sex, that’s because it is. It’s also a great post-sex activity, so it’s versatile and doesn’t require much effort. Perfect for your honeymoon state of mind.
Be Cool Fool
If you’re more comfortable in an anorak than a speedo, head to the Arctic Circle. The Hurtitrugen cruise line out of Norway will take you to far-flung and frosty locales where you can kayak, hike on ice floes, and show off your machismo by fighting off polar bears. (This is a joke. You know what’s not a joke? Polar bears. They are savage monsters who will tear you to pieces before you even get the first punch in.)
Looked at one way, your honeymoon essentially celebrates the end of your freedom. Does that make Cuba Libres the ideal ironic cocktail? Now that we’ve softened our policies with Cuba, a cruise to Havana could be the ultimately hip way to honeymoon. Norwegian Cruise Lines has well-priced trips from Miami and the more luxe Oceania line has just begun sailing there as well.
Where Gods and Goddesses Romp
The Greek isles have an earthy sex appeal that goes back millennia. After all, the word aphrodisiac is Greek. Cruising through the Adriatic with your new bride might be all it takes to make this honeymoon one for the record books. Azamara is a highly-reviewed line with smaller ships able to stop at smaller islands. Silverseas is another option, though they overuse the word “luxury” in their marketing materials—a good sign for your on-board happiness, but possibly a bad sign for your bank account.
The Mediterranean and its many ports of call are classic romantic destinations that speak for themselves: Spain, France, Italy, Croatia—what could be bad? Cruise the western Mediterranean with Viking Star or take in the charm of Dubrovnik and the eastern Mediterranean with Celebrity Cruises.
Sometimes a cliché happens because it’s absolutely the truth. It ain’t rocket science, where there’s smoke there’s fire, and a Caribbean honeymoon will deliver the goods. Start with Royal Caribbean. Deals abound, as do your choice of destinations.